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Clearwire in no rush to move to next-gen WiMAX Release 2

Chris Ziegler

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If consistently pulling down a fistful of megabits per second isn't causing the hair on the back of your neck to stand on end... well, first, we strongly recommend you get that looked at by a professional. Secondly, though, you might have a bit of a wait before you get another hair-raising boost in throughput, because Clearwire -- you know, the company that runs the WiMAX network shared by Clear and Sprint -- is looking to take a laid-back approach on the migration to WiMAX Release 2. The underlying standard, 802.16m, looks destined for IEEE approval some time this year with the promise of 120Mbps down and 60Mbps up in an effort to wage 4G war with LTE Advanced, but Clearwire's CTO is saying that he's not looking to trial the tech this year -- even though Russian carrier Yota is on track to make it happen using Samsung hardware. Instead, 2011 is a "much more likely" target for these guys, apparently, with commercial deployment plausible by '12. With the updated standard capable of speeds that put even high-end cable and fiber broadband connections to shame, you've got to wonder if backhaul isn't the real concern here -- or, even juicier, if they're not just trying to keep all the options on the table for a little while longer.

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